We had assumed that digging a French drain to replace a concrete hardstanding at Llangwm Uchaf would be an unglamorous affair – but building works at historic churches are never without surprises. One of the great names associated with Llangwm is Walter Craddock, Puritan clergyman and founder of the first independent church in Wales, who was born in the parish and took his final living there. In digging the builders uncovered a flat gravestone engraved with the word ‘Craddock’ – could it be the grave of Walter which we knew once existed? What we can decipher of the epitaph reads: ‘Here lyeth the body of Joan Gwyn / The wife of John Gwyn of the parish / Who departed this life in the year 1690’ / ‘Here lyeth the body of Craddock / Gwyn of this parish who departed this life…1725 / Here lyeth the body of Elizabeth / Gwyn, the wife of Craddock Gwyn of this / Parish who was murdered in her own home… of …1743 / Aged 31 years / … body that / Bloody villain / Who coveted both gold and hand…only be’
It seems from research by Lynne Savage that John Gwyn was the churchwarden during the tenure of Walter Craddock. Local folklore has been abuzz with talk of the murder at Pwll Farm where you are still shown the remains of the bloodstains at the bottom of the stairs. We now know that discovery gives flesh not so much to the famous but to the infamous!